A group of Huntington University students produced a “silence your cell phones” video that will play at 30 locations of Goodrich Quality Theaters throughout the region. Goodrich Quality Theaters (GQT) is the parent company of the Huntington 7 theater. The one-minute video launched Friday, Nov. 20, and will run through January 2016 in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Missouri.
The production was led by Adam Konger, a junior film production major from South Whitley, Indiana.
“We had the opportunity to do this through the marketing director of Goodrich Quality Theaters,” Konger said. “Originally, I was hired by Dr. Lance Clark and Clear Insights to produce an advertisement for the Huntington Drive-In Theater, but production was pushed back to the spring semester due to the theater closing for the season before we were able to schedule shoot dates. Dr. Clark and I were disappointed that we had to push the project back, but wondered if there was anything that we could do for the theater while in contact with Kelly Nash, the GQT marketing director.”
Konger said that there had always been interest in the digital media arts department about producing a cell phone silencing video to screen at the Huntington 7 theater. After he expressed interest in producing the video, Nash gave him the green light and production began right away.
“I pitched her an idea that one of the film department’s professors, Nathan Hartman, has had for several years for such a video,” Konger said. “Together, we wrote a script that I directed and he starred in. We had several other students involved in some form of production, including TJ Clounie, Evan Matteson, Joel Livengood, Panthelys Theodoracoupolos, Abbey Frisco, Rachel Hart, Emma Fried, Jonathon Kane, Randi Orr, Ben Crane and Drayton Blackgrove. We also had several students star in the production and around a dozen students not involved in the production act as extras.”
The idea for the video, called “GQT: Watch Different,” came from an Apple commercial. The students parodied the commercial with a “brand-new” feature on the cell phone, the “off button,” which was to be released to enhance the movie-going experience. Hartman, digital media arts studio supervisor, noted that the video was shot with the department’s Red Epic camera and that Remedy in Fort Wayne allowed the group to use its large wraparound white backdrop to get the right affect.
“We had Professor Hartman dress as a Steve Jobs character and give a speech in a white-walled studio,” Konger said. “We also had a filming session in the Huntington 7 where a crowd of trendy movie goers (aka Huntington students) were shown in the theater utilizing the off button before the start of a movie. Josh Bellis was our main actor for that segment, with Joseph Walls and Paige Winans getting a fair share of screen time with many other students (including most of the crew) making appearances. Ben Crane also made some incredible animations with an iPhone that we used in the video.”
The opportunity to show a one-minute video during this season is prestigious because it will run through the premiers of several major movies, including The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 and Stars Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
“It was an awesome experience producing, directing and co-writing this video with my peers and one of my professors,” Konger said.
Hartman was encouraged by the students’ motivation to see the project through.
“It was a great project, and I can only hope this opens a door for more video opportunities with the Goodrich Quality Theater chain,” Hartman said.